Suncor Q1 oper profit beats market view

Tue May 4, 2010 4:29am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Canada's No. 1 energy company Suncor Energy Inc's quarterly profit beat market expectations, helped by additional production from its acquisition of Petro-Canada and higher crude oil prices.

For the first quarter, Suncor posted net income of C$716 million, or 46 Canadian cents per share.

In the year-ago period, which reflects the results of legacy Suncor prior to the Petro-Canada acquisition, net loss was C$189 million, or 20 Canadian cents per share.

Operating earnings, which exclude most one-time items, were C$287 million, or 18 Canadian cents per share. The company posted operating earnings of C$380 million, or 41 Canadian cents per share, in the prior quarter.

The operating profit beat analysts' average forecast of 14 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Suncor is Canada's largest oil sands producer and was the first major oil sands developer. Beside its 350,000 barrel-a-day mining-and-upgrading operation, the company has a stake in Syncrude and runs steam-driven projects called Firebag and MacKay River.

However, its oil sands business was hit by production snags during the quarter as it repaired upgrading units that were damaged by fire.

The company said its oil sands operations produced 202,300 barrels per day, down 27 percent.

Suncor's cash flow, a measure of its ability to pay for new projects, was C$1.12 billion, or 72 Canadian cents per share.

Total upstream production rose about 80 percent to 564,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day. This reflects the results of additional upstream production volumes related to the merger with Petro-Canada, which were not included in the volumes for the first quarter of 2009.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)